Guide to the Best HTPC Media Cases 2020 Detailed Review.
Guide to the Best HTPC Media Cases: If you’re building a home theater PC (HTPC), it’s essential to have a quality case. This is true for any PC, but not all computers serve the same function. A home theater PC needs to be able to handle large amounts of video data, but it doesn’t need to do much else.
Fans and Cooling
Speaking of fans, let’s talk about what type of fans you should be using. Ideally, you’ll want several fans, since they won’t need to run as fast and will therefore be much quieter. Counter-intuitively, large fans are also quieter than small fans, so try to use the largest fans you can.
Another consideration is the power supply unit (PSU). Many cases include a stock PSU that may or may not be up to snuff. Don’t get us wrong, any stock PSU should provide plenty of wattage for a home theater system.
SilverStone Technology Grandia GD09
The SilverStone Technology Grandia GD09’s best feature is its size. It’s just about the smallest ATX-compatible case on the market, at 17.3 inches wide, 14.1 inches deep, and 6.7 inches tall.
This is a slightly large form factor for a home theater system, but it’s still small enough to fit in most entertainment systems without any issues. This makes it a good choice if you want to install a GPU in your home theater PC.
The steel case is very durable, and the front panel is plastic, but with a faux aluminum finish that matches quite well.
Fractal Design Node 202
The Fractal Design Node 202 is made in Sweden. And much like Ikea furniture, it’s ideal for do-it-yourselfers – although, sadly, it does not come with a side of Swedish meatballs. Its form factor is designed for Mini ITX motherboards, and it’s one of the slimmest you’ll see for anything bigger than Micro ATX.
It measures 14.84 inches in width, 12.99 inches in depth, and an exceptionally slim 3.23 inches in height. That said, the way the motherboard mounts, there’s still space for a full-sized video card, which is very impressive and is essential for an 8K or VR rig.
The top and bottom of the case are constructed from anodized aluminum, with ABS plastic front and sides. All of the sides are smooth, except for the back, which we’ll get to in a minute. There are two large air vents: one on the top and one on the side.
This design ensures that both vents will be open to the air, whether the case is oriented vertically or horizontally. On the front, there’s a small panel on the lower left with a power button and indicator light, but no reset button.
There’s also a pair of USB 3.0 ports, as well as 3.5mm audio ports. The rest of the front is clean and clear, with the exception of the Fractal Design logo.
SilverStone Technology Petit PT13
The SilverStone Technology Petit PT13 is appropriately named. It is, by a significant margin, the smallest case on our list. It’s more or less square, 7.1 by 7.3 inches in width and depth respectively, and only 1.65 inches thick. It’s very rugged despite the size, with a 100-percent aluminum shell.
It has a lightly textured black gunmetal finish that’s attractive to look at and looks really sharp on your shelf. Even the button is very sturdy, and it’s nice to see that SilverStone has paid so much attention to detail.
Antec Slim Desktop VSK2000-U3
The Antec Slim Desktop VSK2000-U3 is a slim, compact case that’s compatible with both Mini ITX and Micro ATX motherboards. It measures 14 inches wide, 13.3 inches deep, and 4 inches thick, and includes a small plastic stand to keep it stable if you choose to put it in an upright position.
In the horizontal position, four rubber feet protect your entertainment center shelf from getting scratched. Keep in mind that while this form factor is very slim, it’s not large enough to support a graphics card. The outside of the case is molded from ABS plastic, and has a slick black finish that’s attractive, and will match a variety of modern electronics.
For such a small case, it offers a surprising variety of options. Inside, there are mounting trays for both a 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drive, so you can install a small SSD for running your operating system as well as a larger HDD for storing your media.
The best HTPC Media Cases, In addition, the front of the case has a slot for installing a DVD or Blu-Ray drive. That’s impressive for a slim case, and it’s hard to get much smaller while still providing space for an optical drive.